New Jersey-based TRI-K has developed a new vegetable-based alternative to animal keratin which it says mimics the functional ratios in human hair amino acids in a more natural way.
According to the raw materials supplier, the cohesive solution ‘Fision KeraVeg18’, contains wheat, soy and additional vegetable fermented amino acids that ultimately increase hair strength and elasticity to prevent breakage in both Caucasian and African hair.
Keratin, a fibrous protein already present in the hair, gives it strength and elasticity. However, while it is built to withstand the sun and winter cold, persistent exposure to stress will finally cause damage, and once broken down into small enough strings it can become water soluble and get washed away.
Thus, protein has become an intensely potent ingredient in hair care products of late, with formulators making efforts to replace the amino acid cysteine, the main one lost during chemical processing.
Types of keratin used in hair products includes animal protein broken down into fatty acids which tends to form a film like coating on the hair that can create residual build-up, and vegetable protein, which is regarded as a better option since the hair shaft tends to absorb it more easily, leaving it shiny and healthy.
Vegetable versus animal keratin
Keeping this in mind TRI-K set about developing an alternative. Firstly, carrying out comparison trials on Fision KeraVeg18 and hydrolyzed animal keratin, studies that company reps say included amino acid comparison, hair strength, hair elasticity, wet & dry combing and a consumer study.
"Based on this testing, the more sustainable ingredient has properties comparable to, or in some cases better than, hydrolyzed animal keratin and can be used in any hair care formulations as a more natural product offering," reps revealed.
In addition, the company says the sustainable ingredient will also help to protect hair from harsh salon processes, improve comb-ability and reduce damage from excess force used against the hair.
“This also provides antioxidant protection and may even help to limit oxidative damage to the hair and scalp,” they concluded.